Why Museums are Moving Away from a Solely Heritage Focus.

October 29, 2016

Recently, I was discussing an interesting topic with fellow museum employees. We were talking about our recent events and a new exhibit arriving in the New Year. During this conversation, something was brought up and I couldn’t help but share it with all of you. Museums have always had a large focus on heritage more than anything else. Why shouldn’t they? Heritage is a large part of history and museums want to represent their community and nation throughout history. The issue is that we have been focusing on that and nothing but that for a bit too long now. There are other aspects in history that museums can focus on, such as culture and how it has evolved throughout history. That is what many museums have decided to go for now; the history of culture, per see. For example, the Welland Museum’s recent First Fridays event is something more culturally inclined. The museum is also looking at adding more artwork from local artists to its collection. That being said, this transition can explain why the museum is trying to go by a new title. Instead of the “Welland Historical Museum”, we simply call it the “Welland Museum” as seen in our new logo.

That however, doesn’t explain why museums are making this transition. The answer can vary from institution to institution, but mostly it has to do with wanting to shake things up a bit to make museums interesting to a larger audience. I can say for a fact that many teenagers are more interested in history projects revolving around culture and their analysis of the culture than history projects revolving around factual information on a specific event. For example, many students would rather do a project on First Nation communities and do a critical analysis of how historical events helped shape their culture and point of views than do a project solely based on factual and objective information surrounding the historical events that the First Nation communities participated in.

Considering that museums want to add more culture in their exhibits and programs, that doesn’t mean that they are going to disregard heritage. A mixture of culture and heritage in museums would be rather nice, in my opinion. Even a bit of art maybe, which is exactly what the Welland Museum is aiming for! Now, I have an interesting question for you all. If you had a say in what could go in museums, what would you chose? Come on in and let us hear your opinion!

-Alacia Michaud (Welland Museum Blogger).

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À venir le 30 Octobre.

 

 

 

 

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